Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Featured artist at A Place for Tulsi

by Evelyn Williams. Photo Credit:
Pembroke College Oxford JCR Art Collection
This month I am the featured artist at A Place for Tulsi, an online initiative to "acknowledge and create an awareness of the cultural diversity in the community of poets." In addition to a short bio, poems included are "A Lament for Sylvia," "Little Girl," "A Little of the Mystery Come," and "Before the Storm Wet the Earth." Thank you to Editor Anna Raman for the honor of including me in your special publication. Click here to visit A Place for Tulsi.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Words are All I Have

Words I'm frightened to say
dangle off deep breaths
and gentle voice.

I listen to every syllable I speak to you,
making sure no bad judgment in word
or accent escapes.
And they fumble from my thoughts
as the thoughts rumble:

I want you back
I can be different
better
this time

Why I think my carefully selected
phrases might persuade you I don't know.

But if to get you back were possible
with my arrangement of speech,

Then I wish to be king of words,
or poet of my time.

 

(From the book Kairos)

To You

You laugh, and the world unfolds.
Light falls like rain, stains the dark.
I’m helpless, without speech;
your soul becomes the blue of my eyes.

Forgive me if I stray—
To you.

You smile, and no wars ever were.
You hold time in place, erase the hands.
I’m overcome, filled with adoration;
my soul becomes the brown of your eyes.

Forgive me if I write these words—
To you.

You speak, and the otter shakes a whisker.
You enchant me, a sea horse ballet.
And I swim, deep where tears shed;
now my poetry breathes under oceans.

Forgive me if I expose my heart—
To you.

 

(From the book Kairos)

The Existence of You

Morning—delicate
thirsty
the sky yawns
earth stretches . . .
You near the ending of a peaceful, romantic dream.
The silence of night subsides, you open your eyes—
two emeralds shine beneath the sun.

Another day is born,
another morning blessed.
Such simple truths are easily told
by the existence of you.

Night—romantic
alive
the stars shine
earth sighs . . .
You smile and all things are curious—
a shooting star passes over your essence.

Another twilight has come,
another night takes the stage.
Standing ovations are easily understood
by the existence of you.

I hear them . . .
I hear them whenever I'm around you—
the subtle, graceful heartbeats of angels.
They surround you like butterflies gone mad.

And all my love for this world,
all my love for beauty, for nature;
all my love for life was awakened
by the existence of you.

 

(From the book Kairos)

Somewhere

Somewhere

Somewhere,
hooks and chains
hang amid
peeling
olive wallpaper
on
rusty nails
once hanging
pictures
of
other times—
(before
the walls
shrank
and took
all the
air away).

Somewhere,
the
gentle
tapping
of fingers
on the
sharp
edge
of a
machete
leads
up to the
shadowed body
of a man
whose
head
is a
broken
light bulb.

 
 
From the book Kairos. Also received an honorable mention at the 4th Annual Skyway Writers Festival in 1999.

Outside, the Silent Garden

Wind
and rain.
Silent flowers under thunder.
She tends the garden
by staring through the window.

A downpour of thoughts
mix daydreams and doubt,
splash in her mind
and channel off.

The green in her eyes
runs down her cheeks
like unripe berries
falling and bouncing from sight.

She’s waiting for new scenery
with laughter in her pockets.
The hair across her shoulders
sleeps.

And the heartbeat beneath her skin
waits patiently
for his kiss.

 

First published December 3, 2011 in Daily Love.

Only a Dream?

As she closes her eyes
for the night
her lashes mingle
and dreams begin behind them.

Fireflies lead her across
a garden he has grown her
as a wind full of whimsy
lifts her hair down.

She steps out of a pink negligee,
igniting her skin with the goose bumps
he’ll conquer with an embrace.

And her beauty commands the killing of a flock of clocks:

Victor Hugo writes one last poem by coffin candlelight;
a blind man sees his wife while reading it in Braille—

The aurora borealis falls in love with a rainbow;
nature sends a new species of butterfly into the world—

Scarlet tanagers drop rose petals over the ocean;
hands of sunlight push lovers face to face—

But before that first kiss the locusts cause an eclipse.

As he tosses and turns
in white sheets
werewolves crawl in
from the shadows.

Fireflies explode
in the wilting garden
as a sky full of bats
pull her hair up.

But it’s only a dream,
Only a dream, she says
as she wakes him quietly
with an empathetic kiss.

 

From the book Kairos (print version only)
 

My Love, My Dream

It was surreal, now that I think back,
as if a dream had wandered over the boundaries
to deliver forth the shimmering light
that was you.

And for a time, time was lost.
A halcyon river became our guide.
Its tranquil flow, a symbol of perfection,
its reflection
casting wildly off our eyes.

Love sprang to life, life became love.
Every hue within this plane began to lighten.
Our hearts chased, our meaning held no lies;
our souls tingled with gentle electricity
beneath harlequin skies.

But we awoke one morning, heartsick to find,
pink mist off the river had turned gray.
Suddenly our angels were selectively blind—
Was divinity so busy that it left us behind?

I screamed into a shower of diamonds.
I'd lost you inside this sudden despair.
Through the downpour I heard no reply,
and soon discovered myself alone there.

No one ever told us
that the weather changes in paradise
or that the flowers can cry.
The voice in the clouds never confessed
that true love could die.

And so troubled waters made their way down the river;
somewhere far off the ocean tide had raged.
The dream cracked, then fell to pieces—
leaving us broken
and forever changed.



(From the book Kairos)

My Clearest Day

I went to question the angels
about their reason for tearing her heart from me
but the clouds, they closed their doors
and even the sun looked away—
that was my saddest day.

I pleaded with devils and gods
to obtain some solace in their reason
but they spoke thunder through storms
and left me drenched in rain—
that was my darkest day.

So I traveled across land and time
to find a wise man who knew the nature of love
but the sands of earth became giant pits
and I could not reach him—
that was my most frustrating day.

Then, I decided to look within myself
so that maybe there I'd find a better man
but I had grown so tired that it no longer mattered
and the idea drifted off on a forgotten dream—
that was my clearest day.

 

(From the book Kairos)

Love Will Glue These Br-oken Pi–ece-s

Love Will Glue These Br-oken Pi–ece-s / She was new again, like she’d been born again, but with the knowledge. Like she had walked down from a mountain: cool skin, fresh thought, light eyes, and a fire burning for life. The past was secondary now. All the old romances turned dust-worthy. All the doubt dispersed. She was ready to face the world with open arms; to follow every step she took into a forward, sun-splashed direction. Love would not shove her away, not anymore—it was her ambition to curl up in its silky arms. It was her walk towards paradise, her vintage wine longing for a taste—and she could taste it now, on the lips of her subconscious; it was bittersweet, like strawberries.

“I love myself. I love my life. Love surrounds me and love will follow me.”

She spoke those words at every corner of every day. They launched her over obstacles with painless effort. Mental wounds healed without scars. The moon, the stars, and the sun smiled down. If it stormed, the rains were pleasant, shimmering with twilight sky. Clouds floated overhead, shaping themselves into chivalries. She hoped all future days would follow such gestures. And they would, when her true love came to embellish them.

He awoke mid-night, mid-spring, midway through a dream. He dreamt of a girl. He recalled vividly: his hands shaking, his heart racing, his mind not sure if she was real or unreal. They were in a meadow radiant with dew. She held poems in her hands, had shooting stars in her hair. Her eyes were earths: blue and green, mixed with sky and gold sunlight. Pollen and strawberry stains covered her dress. She shimmered like a rainbow.

And he became nervous, for he knew he could love this girl, but he had loved once before and his heart had been turned shy. Yet he stood in her path, waiting for her kiss, longing to hold what he so rightly deserved. She was the angel atop his life’s tree, he knew it. So he waited, and as she came closer his eyes teared up and his heart beat with desperation. The world held its breath, destiny exhaled its mirage. Then came a whisper, “We’ll be together soon,” and the dream was over.

That’s when he woke up, feeling new again, like he’d been born again, but with the knowledge . . . . He opened the curtains, looked out the window and said, “I love myself. I love my life. Love surrounds me and love will follow me.”

 

(From the book Kairos)

Killing a Man on a Bridge for Pleasure

The pavement looks up at me. I look down on it. We exchange a sneer or two before the clouds roll in.

The clouds roll in.

I’m walking towards a man. He is walking towards me. I won’t move, this path is mine—chosen before God played on his anvil and wept when things died by twilight…

Hell comes up through the cracked pavement, has a look around.

I’m the only person who can see you, dear Hell. No one has to know I handed you a snack beneath the table. Please, warm my cold thoughts with your hot cough. Let me kill this man when we meet halfway on the bridge.

“What brings you about, pale stranger?” I say to the man, disrupting his pensive scowl.

He doesn’t speak, just walks past me. “Hey,” I yell, turning around, “I said ‘What brings you—‘“

“Leave me be,” he says without turning, “or I’ll kill you for the fucking pleasure of it.”

“My thoughts exactly,” I say, “but the other way around.”

What is this night, with its laughing moon and hazy air? And where are all the other colors? All is red to me now.

Two men meet halfway on a bridge: God is off doing other things, but the demons below are flicking popcorn into their mouths: waiting, placing bets, black hearts racing with excitement.

I pull out my knife and the pale stranger pulls his. Our faces match grins and our eyes match, too. He kills me, and I kill him. The pavement licks up our blood and rejoices in the ways of man.

 

(From the book Kairos)

Each Second that Passes

Death peeks at me
through the blind spot of my dreams.
He holds sand in his hands and laughs
as the grains slip away.
 

(From the book Kairos)

Broken Hearts in Paris

I dreamt last night
Of the last night I saw you,
All covered in deadweight gold
And tarnished by its light.

You stood at the window,
An angel with burnt wings
And a soul tired of dancing.
"It's never easy backing out," you said.

"I know," I replied,
Our backs facing each other
And the voice not quite my own.
"Sometimes it isn't what we imagine."

You breathed against the window
And made a heart with your fingertip.
I closed my eyes
And put my forehead to the door.

When moonlight fell across the bed
You turned to me and said, "Paris, we
Should've gone to Paris. They have stars
And paintings, all the romance you can take."

I fumbled for my keys and opened the door.

"And broken hearts," I said.
Plenty of broken hearts. 

 

(From the book Selected Poems 2004-2007)

Beneath the Waves

He floats on green sea, sky softens eyes twilight blue.
Fish set course for curious, jump like finned rainbows.
The heart ventured at daybreak, went searching with sail;
anchored soul waits for resurrection, swirls with dreams.

Apart since sunrise, he’s been at opposite ends of her hour.
Life sleeps on shore, sunset bends towards fiction.
Love has splashed her, soaked the heart with promises;
angelic soul lifts, maiden albatross flies.

He waits, she will come—
and they will swim down together.

 

(From the book Kairos)

Before the Storm Wet the Earth

A ladybug landed on my knee
as I sat alone in a meadow
awaiting the rain.

With its tiny head cocked
and a trust in my silence
it seemed to ask,

"Do you think I am beautiful?"

But all I could do
was look away
and wonder what stories
my face was telling.

 

From the book Kairos. Also won 1st place for poetry at the 5th Annual Skyway Writers Festival in 2000.

A Poem to My Dead Love

My tears have filled my hands for centuries
and for centuries more, I’ve cried.
A broom of misfortune swept you away
and there hasn’t been a day
I haven’t missed you.

The time between sunrise and sunset
is a region of despair, and my nights
are wretched with the silence of a dream;
a dream which dreams me alone.

I once was a man of polished marble,
strongest simply because you loved me.
Fortune had been my blessing, and you my bloom—
the world then was an answered question.

But my god, how quickly the puzzle drops and splits apart,
a million pieces lost in earth and time;

how in the blink of an eye
my eyes could matter no more;
how I’ve longed for more of death and less of life,
just to be closer to you, my love.
 

(From the book Kairos)

A Moment is Riding Time

A moment is riding time
like a horse over the hill
bringing strength—

A moment is floating through time
like a ship across the sea
bringing wealth—

There is a moment
tossed by a fairy’s whim,
blown forward by her breath,
and carried away to find us.

There is a moment
set aside for you and me,
but it may take awhile
as these things do, my love.

It may take awhile
as these things do.

Our moment is conquering time
like a white flag rising
ending battle—

Our moment is drawing near
like a heart breaking chains
ending restraint—

 

(From the book Kairos)

The Impatient

Dress me in medical green, stick me down with pins.
Take your shiny gold scalpel and operate on me.
Do your best work, dear demon,
do your best work on me.

I’m alive you see,
so do your best work on me.

The sky’s beauty smothers all the scenery
like the doctor over his patient’s misery.
His scalpel shines gold in the white moonlight,
slicing down through the muddy breeze:

Cut me please.
Fix me, please.

Dress me in medical green, stick me down with pins.
Take your octopus arms and rearrange the insides of me.
Do your best work, dear deerhead,
do your best work on me.

I’m still alive you see,
so do your best work on me.


From the book Kairos. Also in SNM Horror Magazine's Best of 2012 issue. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Poem reprinted in Leaves of Ink

"The Existence of You" has been reprinted in the poetry webzine Leaves of Ink. It can be read via the link below. Thank you Earl S. Wynn for publishing it.

http://www.leaves-of-ink.com/2013/10/the-existence-of-you.html